Turnover: Is it them or us?

Keeping great employees is a challenge.  Selecting a person that fits your culture is key to lower turnover.  The capacity for emotional intelligence [EI] of an applicant has never been greater. In reading a 2018 Harvard Business Review article I shook my head about EI importance.  Authors Lori Goler, Janelle Gale, Brynn Harrington and Adam Grant noted that in their recent engagement survey at Facebook they found the perspective of the old bromide: “people don’t quit a job, they quit a boss.” Their results said their employees were leaving due to the job not having joy or did not use their strengths or did not open up new career horizons.  The author’s message is to never forget about job design.

We would do better as managers if we really take time to build relationships with employees and follow Dr. Deming’s prescription for how you enable a person to have joy in work.  His requirements: a job where you have choice, contribution and community.  I am always finding that his work withstands time.

But the HBR authors add another aspect with the statement, “Great bosses set up shields to protect employees from toxicity.”   Whose role is it to guard against toxicity?  Is it them, us or both?  If you think all is well consider asking.

Challenge: Ask your employees if they believe that their boss cares about

  • Your happiness and success?
  • Your career and the balance with your life?
  • You ending up in a better job?
  • Your environment enabling you to enjoy what you do?

Paula Sommer

Paula Sommer is Managing Owner of Dynamic WorkSystems, LLC, an Arlington, Texas based consulting company focused on tailored solutions that leverage an organization’s human assets. She received a Bachelor of Science magna cum laude degree from Louisiana Tech University and holds numerous certifications related to quality methods, thinking, coaching and strategic management.

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